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Colombo: Russian flag carrier resumes flights to SL

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Photo Credit : IANS

Colombo: Russian flag carrier Aeroflot resumed commercial operations to Sri Lanka on Monday, the first time since June this year.

The first Aeroflot flight since June 4 landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport Monday morning with Russian tourists, reports Xinhua news agency.

Aeroflot had suspended its commercial flights to Colombo after Sri Lankan authorities detained its Airbus A330 jet with over 200 people on board over a commercial dispute with an Irish company.

The Russian House in Colombo said that Moscow is the main source market for Sri Lankan tourism and that the recommencement of the flights is a boost for the island nation’s economy.

The Russian House said the relationship between the two nations will be further strengthened by the resumption of flights.

In protest against grounding the flight, the Russian Foreign Ministry had also summoned the Sri Lankan envoy in Moscow to express its strong objection.

The Aeroflot Airbus SU 289 landed at the Colombo airport on June 2 with 191 passengers and 13 crew members on board.

The plane was stopped from leaving for Moscow following a court order obtained by Irish aircraft leasing company, Celestial Aviation Trading.

The court order to ground the plane was obtained over a commercial dispute with the Irish company which has leased the aircraft to Aeroflot.

The passengers and the crew were taken to hotels.

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